Paris: The Ultimate List

Whenever someone hears that I’ve been staying in Paris for a few months, they usually ask if I have any suggestions on things to do or see off the beaten path. Of course I do!

1. The Patisserie on Vieile du Temple, between Rue du Tresor and Rue des Roisiers. They have the best breakfast pastries, amazing macarons, and a hearty bread called “Pain du Marais” which, I’m told by my family, is delicious.

2. Creperie des Arts has the best salted caramel and butter crepes ever. Bug and I come here every time we’re in Paris. I’ve tried many other crepes but none compare, IMO. Just ignore the weird heads sticking out of the walls:

Are you looking at me?

3. The Terrrace Restaurant at Printemps if only for the 360-degree views of Paris.

4. Statue of Liberty treasure hunt. They are hidden all over Paris. See how many you can find.

5. Musée des Arts and Métiers. Lovely museum full of stuff. Like old computers, technology (like weaving looms), printing presses? This is your place. But what you really must see is the part of the museum that was once an old church. It’s breathtaking. And added points, two Statues of Liberty are located here.

6. A Tour of the Paris Opéra. Even if you’re not a Phantom of the Opera fan, the tour is cool. I especially loved the display of ballet costumes at the end.

7. If you’re here in the Summer, Hotel de Ville has fun, free concerts. Grab a bottle of wine or beer from a street vendor and enjoy!

8. The Jardin des Plantes and the adorable zoo that’s attached. This place is a wonderland.

9. The Paris Sewer Museum. Not what you’d normally think to do, but it’s fascinating.

10. If I had to choose one museum, it would be the Musée d’Orsay. It’s smaller than the Louvre and less overwhelming. Plus, it focuses on Impressionism.

11. Don’t want to stay in a hotel? My rental agency, A Part of Paris, has great homes for rent by the night, week, and month. I’ve been very happy with them.

12. Sunday Brunch at the Jardin Acclimatation’s Pavillion des Oisseaux. One of the best I’ve ever had.

13. Running through the Tuilleries in the early morning before it becomes too crowded. The way the sun hits the Louvre is beautiful – pinks, purples, golds.

14. Climb to the top of the Arch de Triomphe. Some people say the view is better than from the Eiffel tower.

15. The street musicians who play on the bridge linking Ile Saint-Louis with Ile de la Cité (where Notre Dame is). Just walk to the back of Notre Dame and follow the bridge on your left, not the “love lock” bridge on your right.

16. The street performers in front of Notre Dame at night. Crazy fire dancers, insane rollerbladers, clowns, musicians – it’s all here. Make sure to drop a euro in the hat at the end.

17: A tip – all street signs tell you what arrondissement you are in. Also, the last two digits of a zip code, for example 75003, also tells you the arrondissement (in this example, it’s the 3rd). This makes getting around much easier.

18. Another tip – Get the RATP app. It’s has maps of all the metro, RER, and Trams. Plus, you can put in your location and destination and it will give you the route.
And this is what I wore yesterday while pretending to be calm that my book comes out next week and I still have things that must be done. Things I should be doing right now instead of blogging…sigh….

Hanging out on Pont Louis-Phillipe

The Outfit:

Shirt: Navy and white, super thin, long-sleeve tee from Banana Republic

Skirt: Gray cord A-line from JCrew

Jacket: Fitted brown leather from Banana Republic

Stockings: Wolford, Velvet de Luxe 50 in Admiral.



Outfit Post: Everything is Rosy, Including My Hair

Today’s best laid plans were crushed when the Fox announced he had a stomach ache during lunch. After a bit of back and forth, I decided he wasn’t faking and shouldn’t go to the Jardin Acclimatation. Nothing like rides and lots of walking to make a sick boy sicker.

I’m trying to hide my disappointment – we only have a few days left in Paris and I really don’t want to waste any of it sitting around the apartment. But what can I do? A sick kid is a sick kid.

I did, however, get out this morning for a short run. As I ran, I kept making lists of the things I’ll miss about Paris:

1. Men that enjoy dressing nicely and make even causal look good.

2. Le Metro

3. A neighborhood that is truly walkable

4. The sound of church bells. Especially, the 10:45am Sunday morning bells.

5. Afternoon champagne

6. Macarons

7. Being able to dress the way I like to and not have people think I’m overdressed.

8. How clean it is (San Francisco, please, please, please do something about the dirty streets. Cleaning twice a month is gross).

When that made me depressed, I switched to things I’ll not miss about Paris:

1. Being tempted by the sweet, yeasty, mouth-watering patisseries

2. Sunday brunch not starting until 12pm

3. Sidewalk right-of-way wars

4. The scooters

5. My neighbors who like to have parties at 3am on Monday nights.

Below are a few pictures of my neighborhood from my run this morning. I love how quiet the Marais is pre-11am.

The dome in the back is the Panthéon.
I love how these stairs disappear into the water.
Hotel de Ville and the horse statue.
The back of Notre Dame

Because I’m feeling a little morose, I wanted to wear something cheerful. Until recently, I never wore pink, but I’m liking it a lot. Maybe I’m embracing my “girly” side more (although Bug informs me, I’ve always been very feminine, just not pink-girly). I also had my hair colored yesterday and had Liam, he of the mesmerizing chest hair, darken the roots so that the contrast with the ends is more pronounced. Because my hair is naturally strawberry blond, Liam decided to make it extra dark because my color tends to fade fast. It freaked me out a little when I woke up this morning to see such dark hair (it was pulled back, so I couldn’t see the blond ends), but I really like it.

Still blond around my face.
The dark roots and crown. There’s a lot of red/pink in there.
I look like I went through a wind storm, but you can see the change between colors clearly here.

The Pink Outfit:

Skirt: Chambray from Jcrew (Summer 2011, I think)

Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft (spring 2012)

Stockings: Wolford Perfectly 30 in anthracite These are a sheer, dark gray with a bit of shimmer and feel amazing on.

Cuff: Diwali

Shoes: Minelli Leopard print ballerinas.

Outfit Post: Rainy Day


I’ve been frantically typing, typing, typing to finish last minute edits on Nightingale all week, which means I’ve been skipping all the fun afternoon activities (Paris Sewer Museum, anyone?) and only emerge from my apartment for meals. Bug is going to do a post for me later this week on Le Grand Metro Ride, the Sewer Museum, and the Notre Dame bell tower, but until then all I’ve got is an outfit post.

Today’s look was inspired by this pin on Pintrest:

This is what I pulled together from my closet. Pretty close, right?

The outfit:

Dress: Zara

Sweater: Zara

Belt: Banana Republic

Boots: Repetto

Necklace: Banana Republic

Bracelet: Dawali; Blue Rebel nail polish from Chanel.

Leggings: Wolford Velvet de Luxe 50 in Admiral

The Schedule:

8:30am – Roll out of bed

10am – Tidy up house, take a shower, mess around online after Bug and the boys leave for Notre Dame.

11am – Start trying to write the Nightingale dedication and acknowledgement pages.

11:30am – Stare out window, make new playlist, read the news.

12:15pm – Bug and the boys arrive home, frozen and hungry.

12:30pm – Head out to lunch. Tried a Japanese place near our apartment. Super good. Must find the name.

2pm- Drop boys off at home. Bug and I stroll down the street and do a little shopping.

3pm – Return home while Bug does the grocery shopping. Get the boys started on their Anne Frank reports. The Colonel decides he’s going to draw pictures of Napoleon getting “beat by the Russian Team,” followed shortly by, “Marie Antoinette being guillotined.” Consider if this means I’m raising a sociopath. Decide he’s just a fan of history.

4pm -5:30pm – Bug and I try to nail down where we’re going next week. The East Coast is becoming more and more likely, although London is still in the running.

6:30pm –  A home cooked dinner, prepared in our mini-kitchen by Bug. Steak haché for two boys, rostisserie chicken for the adults, and a falafel sandwich from the corner shop for Pudge.

8pm – Bedtime for the boys.

Rest of the evening – probably drinks across the street then a movie at home.

And just because I think he’s adorable, here’s The Colonel. He’s taken to dressing French and insists on wearing scarves, button-up shirts and “fancy” clothes.

The Colonel before our front door. Dapper, isn’t he?